Utz Tillmann, Chief Executive of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), regrets the rejection of the Brexit agreement by the British Parliament. This means, business still lacks clarity about the state of play after March 29. Although Tillmann hopes that London and Brussels will remain in dialogue, he sees that both sides must now prepare for the emergence of an unregulated Brexit. He thinks that the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as their customers, are particularly affected by a hard Brexit. And if the supply chains collapse, the damage will extend far beyond this industry. Special interim solutions are, therefore, indispensable to mitigate the worst effects. This applies in particular to the supply of medicines in the UK.
Tillmann points out that companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries have been preparing intensively for Brexit for months. However, a disordered Brexit could create such a complex situation that it would be impossible for companies to prepare for all eventualities.
Also the Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), Marco Mensink, agrees: “We can’t stress this enough but having certainty on the arrangements between the EU and the UK is critical to avoid serious supply chain disruptions. We continue to ask for a solution to be found, and hope that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ can still be avoided.”
The United Kingdom is the eighth largest trading partner of the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry. According to VCI estimates, German companies exported 10.2 billion euros worth of products to Great Britain in 2018 and imported chemical products from the island for 5.8 billion euros.
- Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI; German Chemical Industry Association), Frankfurt, Germany
- European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), Brussels, Belgium